Four popular romance authors are featured in The Heart of the Frontier, a collection of charming western romances that you won’t want to miss!
The first story, The Gamble, by Brittany Larsen, introduces us to Ella Merriweather, a spunky heroine who is determined to confront the man who swindled her relative out of all of her savings. Along the way Ella meets Thomas Clayborne, a man whom she is sure is also being swindled by Mr. Howe. Ella has her work cut out for her convincing Thomas that Mr. Howe is dishonest, however. Can Thomas and Ella overcome the past and the circumstances surrounding them to take a gamble on love? Readers will enjoy their interactions as they come to know each other and feel the first stirrings of something more than friendship. Ella does her best in the circumstances she finds herself in and her strength in the face of adversity makes it easy to love her. Thomas isn’t sure how to handle the mess he now finds himself in, but he does recognize the gem he’s found in Ella. A delightful romance!
Jen Geigle Johnson’s story, Her Frontier Bandit, is a second chance romance set in a small western town that is struggling with crime. Rebecca’s father is the new town physician and she has come to assist him. She’s hiding a broken heart, but her old flame, Ray, appears—and seems to now be a bandit! Her feelings for him are stronger than ever, but there are still secrets that keep them apart. Rebecca is so unsure of herself and readers will relate to her as a character in how she deals with the consequences of poor decisions and grows through her own mistakes. Ray is a complicated hero who is trying to balance a life he never thought he wanted. This story has several twists that will keep readers turning pages to see how it ends after all the secrets are revealed!
In Sagebrush Sally by Jennie Hansen, Sally has moved from England to America with her father, so they can join her uncle on his ranch. But from the moment of their arrival, they are asked to help her uncle and surrounding ranchers find the cattle rustlers who are stealing their livestock. Sally meets Marvin and Gabe, two cowboys who have a lot to recommend them. But just as Sally comes to know her heart, danger finds her. Readers will enjoy seeing the growth in Sally as she comes to appreciate her new surroundings and the people who are trying to tame the wildness of the land and build a new future—and envision a future for herself. The setting is particularly well done and adds a depth to this suspenseful romance. Sagebrush Sally is a tale that will steal your heart!
The last story, Celebration for Celia by Carolyn Twede Frank is a tightly woven tale of a man who wants a second chance at life. He does a good deed in trying to warn a young woman of danger, but is hurt himself in the process. The young woman’s family takes him in and while he’s recovering at their ranch, he finds so much more than he expected, but is it more than he deserves? Bruce has faced so much hardship in his life and overcome much of it, but his lingering feelings of inadequacy are very relatable in any time period. His blossoming relationship with Celia is tender and sweet, though they do face some difficult obstacles. Bruce’s attempt to make a wish come true for Celia is endearing and readers will be rooting for them to get their happily-ever-after.
Though novellas are notorious for leaving readers wanting more, each story in this collection is well-developed, highlighting differing aspects of the western frontier, and bringing them to life with vibrant settings, relatable characters, and sigh-worthy endings. The Heart of the Frontier is the perfect summer beach read with bite-sized romances that are full of hope and determination.
Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of over two dozen romantic suspense books. Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she’s visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch Hawaii Five-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.